Skin care in the sun eh? I bet you’re all thinking SUNCREAM right about now? A lot more than that can and does go into taking care of your skin in the sun though. I’d like to think this piece will be useful to everyone with different skin types, as well as my friends who have albinism too. And also, I’ll take this chance to point out that this isn’t medical advise in any way, shape or form – its just a rambling piece about my thoughts on the topic and what has worked for me in the past.
It can be hard to take care of pale skin in the sun, especially when friends are sallow skinned and seem to tan instantly – which makes them want to spend days sitting in the sun even more. In the past I’ve happily taken part in these sun sessions, but guess what happened? Burnt scalp, burnt arms, burnt ears etc. And aside from the dangers of anything more sinister than sunburn blisters, it is really painful and uncomfortable. So here are a few of my tips:
1. Check the weather.
There are apps for this so you have NO excuse not to do it. All during the summer months, I check the forecast every morning to check how intense the sun will be, if there are clouds due, and what times of the day that sunshine is expected. If you have business to attend to during the day, you might decide to do it at a time when the sun is less intense or when it is overcast. Above anything else, its helpful to plan an outfit – especially shoes! Trust me, you do not want to be caught in a pair of cute flipflops when rain is pouring down on top of you!
2. Choose your outfits wisely.
If I know it’ll be sunny on a particular day, I’ll plan to wear light clothes that will cover problem burn areas like shoulders or the upper back. You can still look bright and feel comfortable in summer clothes even if you are a tad more covered than friends. Shorts or strapless tops are a major no-no for me in the summer months, it is just too easy to get sunburned in those or to fail to apply suncream properly to these areas. A lot of people say black should never be worn in the summer either as it attracts the sun, although I wonder is that a bit of an old wives tale!
There is more to skin care in the sun than suncream, but it is a big part of keeping your skin healthy. Its important to pick a suncream that will give you the right protection of course, but also one that you’ll be happy to wear too. It’s pointless buying a suncream that is intensely heavy because you won’t want to wear it and it will be irritating to even apply. Personally, I have always found the sun spray types best as they are much lighter than traditional suncreams, and as they have a spraying nozzle, they are also easier to apply. Even the higher factor coverage in these sprays isn’t as gloopy as the typical sun creams are. Just remember to constantly reapply every hour!
4. Wear makeup if at all possible. And sunglasses!
This probably sounds a bit over the top right? But remember, most liquid foundations do have an SPF level within them. And its a lot nicer to have makeup with sun protection covering your face, rather than applying suncream. Keep in mind that the coverage in makeup isn’t that high though, and check your own foundation for its SPF level. Remember to keep sunglasses around you at all time – especially in Ireland because you may never know when you need them! Invest in a pair with good protection from the sun too – UV rays can and do damage eyes year after year, and so a pair of sunglasses with substantial protection are a worthy investment.
5. Do your best to sit in the shade.
Simple but effective, and you would think it goes without saying, but that’s not always the case. I always have to be reminded to sit in the shade! If you’re in the park with friends who want to sunbath, try and sit near a tree or statue that can give you shade form the suns rays, while still allowing your friends to bask in the rays.
6. Look out for moles and skin changes.
I can’t stress this enough. Moles that have recently changed shape or colour should always be observed by your GP, especially if they are in an area of your body which has been previously sunburned. For more info on what type of changes to look for, click here – because I’m not a doctor and this is just an opinion piece and not medical advice in any way!
Hopefully, this piece will be useful not just to those with albinism, but also to anyone who is looking to protect their skin from the sun! Anything you can add to this list of skin care in the sun? Drop me a line through the blog page! In the meantime, check out this sunny selfie I took with a meerkat in Fota Wildlife Park on the Cork Rose tour recently – the meerkat didn’t really cooperate though!